Soccer. Euro 2024: a survey reveals racism towards Mannschaft players

“How do Germans view their national football team?” A study carried out by the Infratest dimap institute at the beginning of April seems to give a semblance of an answer to this question, ensures Deutschlandfunk. And the results speak for themselves: “Twenty-one percent of them would like there to be more white players in the Mannschaft.”

This survey was carried out among 1,304 people representative of the German population for the purposes of the WDR documentary Einigkeit und Recht und Vielfalt (“Unity and law and diversity”), the title of which parodies the words of the German anthem.

And according to the radio website Deutsche Welle, he “shocked more than one, just a few days before the opening of Euro 2024” in the country across the Rhine. Because this means that “nearly a fifth of the population would like to see fewer players of foreign origin in the national team”.

Alert about racism

The simple fact of carrying out a survey on the skin color and origin of the national team players causes debate, resumes Deutschlandfunk.

Mannschaft coach Julian Nagelsmann said he “shocked that questions (like ‘Would you like there to be more white people in the Mannschaft?’, Or ‘Do you think it’s a shame that the captain of the national team is of Turkish origin?’) are asked, and people respond to them”. He was joined on this point by footballer Joshua Kimmich, who considers such questions racist.

Interviewed by public news radio, social scientist Lorenz Narku Laing says he understands these reactions. Especially since some players, like former midfielder Mesut Özil, have denounced in the past the racism of which they were victims.

For him, such polls are nevertheless necessary to highlight the problems of racism within German society. This type of study would thus make it possible to “understand much better what people (of foreign origin) who live alongside us in this country undergo”.

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